Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Environmental Issue Profile? What does it contain?

An Environmental Issue Profile is a report that contains links and information about a specific environmental or health issues that may be of concern. -data may be- available for your Tribal Nation community, as some profiles also contain local estimates of air pollutant concentrations, exposures, and risks. The information in these profiles can be used to learn more about an environmental issue, exposure and risk reduction options, or to find out what other Tribal Nations, and communities at large have done to address it.
The Issue Profiles have five sections:

  • General Information
  • Sources
  • Environmental Concentrations, Human Exposures, and Health Risks 
  • Exposure and Risk Reduction Options
  • Strategies Implemented by other Tribal Nations and Communities.

For more detailed information about what is contained in each section, see the

Tribal-FERST Environmental Issue Profiles Category descriptions

How was the list of issues in Tribal-FERST selected?

  • The initial list of issues for which there are Environmental Issue Profiles in Tribal-FERST was selected in collaboration with stakeholders from the EPA Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program and EPA scientists. It includes environmental pollutants, health effects and community issues that were identified as important to communities. Since then, USET has worked in conjunction with EPA to expand the list of issues considered of importance to Tribal Nations.

    For example, The list of outdoor air quality issues includes two criteria air pollutants, fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and ground-level ozone, and 11 hazardous air pollutants included in the National Air Toxics Assessment. These pollutants were chosen as the hazardous air pollutants with the greatest potential to impact community health.

    Tribal-FERST does not provide Issue Profiles on every environmental issue that may be important to a Tribal Nation community, so the data collected should be supplemented with additional information and local knowledge before taking any action to address potential concerns. If there are issues you would like to see added to Tribal-FERST, please contact us with your suggestions. The links to the EPA Care Roadmap and EPA National Air Toxics Assessment can be found using the following links:  

Which Environmental Issue Profiles have local concentration, exposure and risk estimates?

Environmental Issue Profiles for the following hazardous air pollutants will contain estimated local concentration, exposure and health risks estimated by the National Air Toxics Assessment:

  • 1,3 – Butadiene
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Acrolein
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Chromium
  • Diesel PM
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Naphthalene
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) 

Other Environmental Issue Profiles do not have local concentration, exposure and risk estimates currently, but still contain valuable information including links to data, sources, health risks, exposure and risk reduction options, and community strategies. Tribal-FERST does not provide data on every environmental issue that may be important to a Tribal Nation community. Because of this, Tribal-FERST should be supplemented with additional information and local knowledge before taking any action to address potential concerns. Below are links to the EPA National Air Toxics Assessment and the Environmental Issue Profiles category descriptions that can be used for Tribal-FERST:

How are Tribal-FERST Environmental Issue Profiles different from the Community Data Table?

Tribal-FERST Environmental Issue Profiles provide information about an environmental issue and, in some cases, estimated local concentrations, exposures and risks. The Environmental Issue Profiles are organized as a report on a single issue with several categories or headings (see FAQs above).

The Community Data Table provides estimated concentrations, exposures and risks for several environmental issues (air pollutants) and demographic data for a local area (Census Tract), county, and state. It is organized as a table so that all the available data can be seen at the same time. Tribal Nations may need to update their census tract data for accuracy in estimations.